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Weave a Web-Promotion Plan

December 20, 2006

4 Min Read
Weave a Web-Promotion Plan

The Internet can promote your self-storage facility to people you never had access to beforeand at a price that may surprise you.

Currently, 207 million Americans use the Internet69 percent of the U.S. population. Recent data reveals 86 percent of the web-savvy population uses it to research items they want to purchase. Considering the number of potential self-storage users on the web, marketing your facility via the Internet is plain good sense.
 
Web Presence

The first and most common way to achieve web presence is by designing a website. It could be a single page to display basic business information or a fully operational site that also allows tenants to rent units and make monthly installments.

Obviously, one is considerably more expensive than the other and many options exist between the two. Generally, a simple website design with a handful of pages costs a few hundred dollars with a monthly fee around $20. Option two, with added bells and whistles, runs into the thousands for development and design, plus hundreds each month for Internet hosting. Be sure you to ask about fees youll be charged by the web designer to make changes to website as well as recurring monthly costs.
 
Find a Designer

Ask local business owners for references and check the local Yellow Pages for web designers in your area. You might also inquire with your chamber of commerce.

If you want to be a little adventurous in your web design, contact your local school or college. Many actively support the business community and may have a student or group design a website for a special class or senior project. Teachers love to have students working on something with real-world applications. These assignments give students experience with deadlines, quality requirements and interaction with business owners.

It won't cost you anything, and you may be delighted with the quality of work. Motivated students invest more time working on web design because they enjoy the challenge and will be graded. If you dont like the design, scrap it or pay someone to tweak it.

All Things Being Equal

All computers are considered equal once connected to the Internet. The only difference is the connection speed between you and your service provider. Once youre online, no computer brand is given higher priority than any other.

Banner Ads

Another way to promote business on the web is to purchase banner space on popular websites in your market area. Graphics companies can design the banner for you, or you might try the local schools again. Contact the area newspaper or other websites for pricing and ad specifications.
 
Search Engines

Dont overlook the obvious: Its a sound plan to purchase ad space on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. Our company buys ads on all three search engines and has been pleased with the response.

Microsofts search engine allows you to fine-tune your target audience so youre not spending to advertise to people outside your area. A search engine ad works by displaying your banner or website when predetermined keywords are selected by the user. For instance, you can tell Google to display a small ad about your self-storage business when someone searches for Self Storage Pittsburgh Pa. Google bills you only when someone clicks on your banner.

Select restrictive search phases to keep your costs down and target customers with better accuracy. You can also cap the amount you want to spendonce the limit is reached, your ad is dropped from search results until the next month, giving you ultimate budget control.

The more you spend, the higher your ad will appear on the search-results page. However, if no one else bids for ad space on your particular search request, your ad will appear first in the resultsfor just pennies per click!
 

WWW History

The Internet went operational on Jan. 1, 1983, providing several protocols, but the World Wide Web was not one of them. What most people dont realize is the commonly seen Internet has only been in existence since 1991 and only publicly available since 1993.


Worthy Efforts

Advertising on the web may seem like a complicated process, but a little research goes a long way in understanding the process and, more important, the cost. Its a great means in which to market your self-storage business. Yet, the key to a successful marketing campaign is stretching your budget over the web, Yellow Pages, print ads and mailings. Maximize your exposure and youll be reaching just about everyone who might want to patronize your business.
 
Tredd Barton owns Tredd's Software Solutions, which has been developing self-storage software for the past nine years. His company recently released version 6.2.9 of its self-storage software and hired a new sales and marketing manager for its expanding business. For more information, call 724.484.7801; e-mail [email protected]; visit www.tredd.com.

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